Halloween Adventures

Well friends, this will be my last blog post until Tuesday at the earliest.  By then, Halloween will have come and gone and I will more than likely be in full blown Christmas mode.  I’m a Texas girl.  It happens.  Some stereotypes are true.

As for this weekend, two of my best friends and I will be road-tripping it (or kayaking, depending on how much it rains) down to Houston for the Texas Renaissance Festival.  A dear friend of mine, James William Peercy, participates in the festival every year (he writes fantasy: The Wall Outside series) and this weekend, the festival will be celebrating all things Halloween, the perfect opportunity to read a ghost story or two!

I have to admit, I’m quite excited.  I’ve been going to Ren Faires since high school, but I’ve never been a vendor, nor have I been to the big Houston one.  I’m used to the one that’s about three times smaller!  But I think it’s going to be amazing.  Of course, I still have a little bit of paperwork/a LOT of packing but I’ll get it all done.  The hardest part of any trip, of course, is leaving my sweet baby Midnight and my birdies, but my mom is going to take good care of them.  This will be my first Halloween away from my sweet black cat!  I don’t even want to think about it.

Anyway, since I won’t be back until Monday, that means that Cemetery Tours will be $2.99 on Kindle a bit longer than I said originally, so go get that book!  Make a Halloween dream come true.

I hope you all have the most haunted and spectacular of All Hallow’s Eves.  Until next time.

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Thank You!

Hi, friends!  Happy Monday!

Okay, so the next two weeks are going to be crazy busy, but in a very very good way.  I have a lot that I need to get done and a lot to prepare before Comic Con weekend.  Thankfully, even though my dad (who usually goes with me to big events) will be out of town, two of my very best friends, Kat and Rachel, will be there with me to help!  They’re both super nerdy and super awesome, so they’ll be a very welcome addition to the team.  Kat also happens to be one of my editors.

My real purpose behind this particular post, however, is to thank you, thank you, thank you all for all the love that Boy Band has been receiving.  This is the book that started out as a NaNoWriMo project.  I wasn’t even planning on writing it, and once I started writing it, I had no idea if I would even finish it, so to see it doing so well is just overwhelming!

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As a token of my gratitude, I’ve lowered the price of the Cemetery Tours and Between Worlds Kindle Books.  For the next week, both books will only be $0.99 on Kindle (though I don’t think it’s been changed just yet… Might take a few hours).  Y’all are so, so awesome and wonderful and Agh!  I just can’t even begin to express how I’m feeling right now!

http://www.amazon.com/Cemetery-Tours-Jacqueline-Smith-ebook/dp/B00F7CHQ08/ref=sr_1_1_twi_2_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1431967138&sr=8-1&keywords=cemetery+tours

I hope you all have a great Monday!

Character Interview: Eugene Brinkley AKA Brink

Okay, this is the interview that everyone has been waiting for.  The interview conducted by everyone’s favorite character.

Brink.

I had a lot of fun with Luke Rainer’s interview a few weeks ago (https://jackiesmith114.wordpress.com/2015/04/09/character-interview-luke-rainer/) but I think everyone (myself included) has really been looking forward to this one.

So, without further ado, here we go.

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Jackie Smith (JS):  Hi, Brink!

Eugene Brinkley (EB):  Hi, person who controls my entire life.  Or should I say death.

JS:  Yeah, sorry about that.

EB:  It’s okay. I’m kind of used to it by now. Though I do wish I could change clothes. I’ve been stuck in the same outfit since 1992.

JS:  Again, sorry about that.  But if it makes you feel better, I think you look pretty snazzy.

EB:  Oh, there’s no question.  I’m just not really a one-outfit kind of guy.  I like to change things up.  I’m a fan of self-expression.

JS:  That’s something I love about you.

EB:  Me too.

JS:  So what questions do you have for me?

EB:  I guess for starters, why am I so 1990s?  I mean, I’m not complaining.  But I feel like you made me out to be the ghostly embodiment of 90s pop culture.

JS:  That’s because the 90s were the best time to be alive!

EB:  … And I was dead for most of them.

JS:  Oh right.  Oops.

EB:  That’s okay.  Being everyone’s favorite makes up for it.  Plus I can walk through walls.

JS:  That’s another reason I like you.  You have such a positive outlook on everything.

EB:  What can I say?  I’m an optimist.  But I do want to know, are we every going to find out more about me?  You know, other than the fact that I was a dumb kid who went skateboarding without a helmet?

JS:  You’ll have to read the third book!

EB:  Great.  When’s that coming out?

JS:  Uhh…

EB:  Okay, fine, you don’t have to answer.  But you’ve at least finished writing it, right?

JS:  Uhh…

EB:  Are you kidding?  How long are you going to make the world wait before you bless them with more Brink?

JS:  Hey!  I’ve been busy!

EB:  Too busy for ME?

JS:  Never!  I’m just spreading my wings a little, you know?  I still love you the best.

EB:  Promise?

JS:  I promise.

EB:  One last question. I know that I’m everyone’s favorite… I mean why wouldn’t I be?

JS:  So humble.

EB:  What’s that?

JS:  Nothing.

EB:  Anyway, fans are usually super devastated when their favorite character dies, but I’m already dead, right?

JS:  Yeah.

EB:  You’re not going to have me like, move on or anything, are you?

JS:  Why?  Do you want to move on?

EB:  Not really.  It kind of freaks me out.

JS:  I know.  And that’s why you’re sticking around.  For a while, anyway.

EB:  What does THAT mean?!

JS:  Don’t worry.  You’re going to be fine.  No matter what.

EB:  Oh man, you’re going to send me away, aren’t you?

JS:  Brink.  You’re everyone’s favorite.  Do you really think I’d get rid of you?

EB:  I hope not!  But JK Rowling got rid of all your favorite characters!  You complain about it ALL THE TIME.

JS:  And because I know how emotionally scarring that can be, I won’t do it to my readers.  Probably.

EB:  Okay, now you’re just being mean.  You’re teasing me, right?  I know you’re teasing.

JS:  Brink, I promise you, you have nothing to worry about.  I have at least three more books planned.

EB:  And I’m around for all of them, right?

JS:  It wouldn’t be Cemetery Tours without you.

Hello, 27

Today is my 27th birthday.  As always, I love the fact that it is my birthday.  Everyone is being extra nice to me.  I get presents and food and time with my friends and family.  But 27 is a little intimidating.  Somehow, it feels a lot closer to 30 than 26 did.  Not that that’s a bad thing.  After all, 13 Going on 30 claims that your thirties are the best years of your life.  If that’s the case, bring them on! Still, I feel like I have so much of my 20s left to enjoy.  Thankfully, I have three more years!  But if the last three years are any indication, these next three are just going to fly.

I have several goals for the next three years, but my one real goal, my ultimate goal, is really the one that matters.  That goal is to become a NYT Bestselling Author by the time I turn 30.  That gives me exactly three years.  The good news is that next year is a leap year so you know, one extra day (woo-hoo!).  My other goals are more personal, but that’s the big one.  Until that happens, however, I am going to keep working as hard as I can and enjoying every minute of it.

Oh, and on that note, it’s my birthday.  Go buy my books.

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http://www.amazon.com/Jacqueline-E.-Smith/e/B00F7BPXX6/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1421269417&sr=8-1

Posting or Lack Thereof

If I go a day or two without posting, it usually means one of several things. I might be busy.  It might be a holiday.  More than likely, however, it means I have no idea what to blog about.  Seriously, sometimes my life is not that interesting.  And believe it or not, something I don’t have anything to say.  Shocking, but true.

I really didn’t think too much had happened in the last few days, but the more I look back on them, the more I realize, hey yeah, a lot kind of did happen.

For one thing, Cemetery Tours and Between Worlds keep getting great reviews.  I think on Amazon, CT is up to 52 while BW is at 22.  I’d love to see more, obviously, but for indie books about ghosts, that’s pretty okay.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0989673405/ref=x_gr_w_bb_t1_x?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb_t1_x-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0989673405&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

Twenty people have already marked Boy Band as To-Read on GoodReads and it won’t even be out until April 21!

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7260466.Jacqueline_E_Smith

I’m signed up to participate in two book events in the springtime – The North Texas Book Festival and AuthorFest in Dennison, TX.  I’m trying to find a time also to visit a few independent bookstores around here as well as getting into urban exploration.  That has nothing to do with books or anything, but I find it really interesting and I think I could get some pretty cool pictures.  Photography, as you know, is my other great love besides writing.

I’ve also been reading a lot more than I got to near the end of 2014.  I used all my Christmas money to buy a mountain of new books and I’ve been able to read them regularly.  It’s been so great!  I also bought a new summer candle to burn while I read, so it’s kind of like paradise in my living room.

The books I’ve read so far are:

As You Wish by Cary Ewles.  I loved this book.  I love The Princess Bride (both the book and the movie) to begin with, so getting read about the filming experience from the point of view of The Man in Black himself was really great.  It also really made me want to watch the movie again.

Alienated by Melissa Landers.  Fun and fast-paced Young Adult novel about a race of aliens who participate in a student exchange program with earth.  I never thought I’d say this, but Aelyx, the alien, was kind of dreamy.

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway.  My sister recommended this book to me and may I just say that it is laugh out loud hilarious and an all around great read.  Imagine your ex-boyfriend writing a song about you and having it become an international hit.

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler. Oh boy. If you want to read a book that will break your heart and have you tearing up throughout the entire story, this is the one.  Very rarely do I cry so easily at anything, books, songs, or movies, but I was fighting back tears the entire time.

Right now, I’m reading Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor.  It’s good so far, but again, it’s kind of sad.  I’m really enjoying it though.  I realize that as I approach the big 27, I’m getting more back into reading Young Adult than I was in college, which is kind of weird, but whatever.  I’m really enjoying all my new books, and i’m especially enjoying them because I have my own YA book due out in a couple of months.

In other non-book related news, I was in my first Earthquake the other day.  Well, technically, I’ve been in Earthquakes before, including that enormous one out in California, but I slept through them so they really don’t count.  Being in an Earthquake is really weird.  It’s like a giant gust of wind traveling through the foundation of a building.  I saw the walls shake and everything.  Crazy.

Finally, I’m just really looking forward to celebrating my birthday this weekend (even though it’s not till the 14th) before my sister has to go back to school. We’ve had a great holiday and i’m going to miss her like crazy, but I’m pretty sure the next few months will fly.  There’s just so much going on!

Later, gators.

Such an Amazing Weekend!

Oh wow… where do I start?

I’ve got to be honest, I might share more than one blog update today because I’m not sure that everything will fit in one post!

I guess I’ll start with Wednesday evening.  I had the distinct honor and privilege of meeting Kathleen Kent, NY Times best-selling author of The Heretic’s Daughter and The Outcasts.  She was such a friendly and lovely person, very personable.

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I also took her a copy of Cemetery Tours, which, I admit may have been a bit presumptuous of me, but she was so sweet and excited about it.

The next day, I was delighted to be a guest at the Melissa Book Club.  They were lovely ladies and I had such a wonderful time!  I love going to book clubs.  It’s so much fun meeting and connecting with people who love books as much as I do.

On Friday, I was finally, for the first time in my life, talked into signing up for NaNoWriMo.  Originally, I had been led to believe that people just write books during the month of November.  I honestly had no idea it was this entire website and community that you join!  How cool is that?!  Anyway, I signed up under a super secret pen name A) just in case it doesn’t work out and B) because the project I’ll be working on is YA and SO COMPLETELY different from Cemetery Tours and I want to keep my reputation as a spooky ghost story writer for at least a little while longer.  I’ve got to tell you though, I am SUPER STOKED to be participating this year.  I think it’s going to be a lot of fun!  I even designed my own cover for the book.

Saturday, was one of the most exciting days of my career thus far.  I was asked to give a short presentation on ghost stories at the Colony Public Library!

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I decided that no one wanted to listen to me talk at them, so I decided to engage the audience in a little Ghost Story Trivia!  I think everyone really enjoyed it.

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There was a bucket of fun prizes.

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And consolation prizes.

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This is me, looking dumb while talking.

I also had the honor of meeting and listening to a presentation on Ghost Towns by non-fiction author, Robin Cole-Jett.  Her photographs and experiences in these abandoned places are so fascinating that she’s inspired me to delve more into urban exploration.  You can find her on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Red-River-Historian/195104580538409?ref=hl

Afterward, I went on an amazing history tour of the Colony, but I’ll tell you more about that in my next post.  I have a lot of pictures and one totally creepy story to share!

Before I get to that blog post, however, I wanted to share Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer’s AMAZING review of Between Worldshttp://caffeinatedbookreviewer.com/2014/10/worlds-jacqueline-e-smith.html

I highly recommend Kimba for anyone looking for an honest, thorough, reliable, and all around awesome reviewer!  You can find her on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/kimbathecaffeinatedbookreviewer

Seriously, folks.  She’s awesome.

The 2014 IndieVengeance Day Scrapbook

Over the weekend, I had the honor of participating in IndieVengeace Day. A group of Indie Authors from all over came together to read, sign, and share their books.  I had such a lovely time with this talented and amazing group of people, and I’d like to share some of the pictures with you today!

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Such a great and talented and hilarious group!

Day 1 of the event was held at a Cafe Brazil.  For the record, I highly recommend the grilled cheese.

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The room looked amazing.

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We even got our own place cards.

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I reconnected with some dear old friends.

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Me and the lovely and talented Tracy James Jones.

Some of us read stuff that we wrote.

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Scott Morgan.

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Ben Ditmars

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Amber Jerome-Norrgard

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Stacey Roberts

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Yours Truly

All in all, it was a great night.

The following day found us all in Allen, Texas at Savour Tasting Room and Social Club.

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There were balloons.  A lot of them.  Which is okay, because I really like balloons.

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It was a bit windy, so I had to tape down my name tag and even my flowers.

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But overall, the day went splendidly.

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Reading a ghost story and there are orbs in my picture… Hmm…

I’m so honored to have spent the weekend with these amazing, wonderful authors.  To find out more about them, please visit their personal websites!

Bed Ditmarshttps://benjaminditmars.wordpress.com

Julie Frayn: http://juliebird.ca

Tracy James Joneshttp://tracyjamesjones.wordpress.com

Jeanne McDonald: http://www.jeannemcdonald.com

Scott Morganhttp://www.write-hook.com

Amber Jerome-Norrgardhttp://amberjeromenorrgard.com

Stacey Robertshttp://www.trailertrashbook.com

Cinta Garcia de la Rosahttp://cintascorner.com

Melissa Zaroskihttp://melissazaroski.com

Susie Clevengerhttp://www.susieclevenger.com

Love you all!  Thank you for an amazing weekend!

Characterization Exploration

I’m in the middle of writing the first draft of the third installment of the Cemetery Tours series.  I’ve come to really love these characters.  I’ve been with them for a while now, and they feel like friends to me.  In the past few years, I’ve probably spent more time with them than with my living, breathing friends.

Characters have always been the absolute most important element of any story for me.  If I don’t like the characters, I’m not going to like the book.  It’s that simple.  I read one book last year (I will not mention it because I don’t want to trash another author’s work on my blog) with such horrible, selfish, whiny characters, I could hardly stand it.  None of the characters had any redeeming qualities whatsoever.  If I succeed at nothing else, I want my characters to be likable.  Well, except for the ones that you’re not supposed to like.  They’re actually a LOT of fun to write, but I digress.

As the first book in the series, Cemetery Tours served as sort of an introductory book.  We met the characters, learned their names, the basics.  Between Worlds delved more into developing relationships and adjustments after the events of the first book.

This third book, however, takes place five months after Between Worlds, and the characters have developed a lot since then.  They’ve had more time to get to know each other and I’ve had more time to get to know them as well.  Now, instead of watching them react to certain situations, I’m exploring what exactly makes them that way.

Of my three main characters, Michael, Kate, and Luke, Michael remains the most stubborn.  Kate and Luke are a lot alike in that they’re both happy characters.  They’re both easily amused and easily fascinated.  Michael is more reserved, which stems from a lifetime of trying to remain unnoticed by ghosts and spirits.  Since he met Kate and Luke, he’s become more outgoing, but those twenty-eight years of hiding within himself I think really took a toll, and I think he’s always going to be a little reserved, and that’s okay.  That’s why Kate likes him, and that’s why I like him.

Last night, I tried to imagine what Michael what be like, what he might have done, if he didn’t have the ghosts.  I realized I feel a little sorry for him, because being surrounded by the spirits and trying at all costs to avoid them and not draw attention to himself really inhibited him from developing a real sense of self.  Unlike Kate and Luke, who have real interests that they discovered by themselves, Michael’s entire character evolved from a desire to be something he’s not.  He didn’t have time for self discovery because he was too obsessed with self denial, if that makes any sense at all.  That’s why I’m glad he has Kate, Brink, and even Luke.  I think they really bring out the best in him.

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Friendly Reminder that you only have ONE WEEK LEFT to enter my GoodReads Giveaway! Win signed copies of BOTH Cemetery Tours and Between Worlds just in time for Halloween!

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/109579-between-worlds

Busy Busy Busy

As an indie author, I’ve found that there are two kinds of busy.  There’s the kind that all indie authors are all the time.  The kind that is not very active, but it is constant.  Indie authors always have something that they can be doing.  That doesn’t necessarily mean that we always do what we’re supposed to do (I personally spend way too much time on Pinterest…), but there is always something there.

Then there is the active kind of busy.  That’s the knd where we actually have engagements lined up, specific things to be working on, to be honest, it’s kind of like being back in college.  Those weeks are a lot of fun, but they don’t occur as often.  This is going to be one of those weeks, and I am so, so, so excited about it.

Friday and Saturday, I’m participating in an event I attended last year as a fan, not as an author.  It’s called IndieVengeance Day and you can read all about it here: http://indievengeanceday.com

I’m really excited about the two-day event, but before I can get to it, I still have a lot to do.

I was lucky enough to have been asked to read through my friend Jeanne Skartsiaris’ new book, Snow Globe.  I’ve been going through and making notes (I’m going to write a small blurb for her! Neat!), but I really need to finish that up.

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You can find Jeanne on GoodReads here: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7425985.Jeanne_Skartsiaris

I’ve also mentioned before that I was asked to give a presentation on ghost stories at the Colony Public Library on October 25.  I was so honored and excited to be asked, and I’ve been putting a lot of thought and research into figuring out exactly what I want that presentation to be.  Well, around 5 AM on Saturday morning, it finally came to me.  I am so excited about this presentation.  It’s going to be awesome.  Now that I know what I want to do, it’s time to buckle down and get to work on that as well.  I’ll tell you more about it after I actually give it.  I want it to be a surprise!

So yeah, lots of good, fun things are happening.  Cemetery Tours has been selling really well this month.  I have a lot of people signing up for my GoodReads giveaway.  Speaking of, don’t forget to enter! https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/109579-between-worlds

And of course, on top of all of that, I’m still hard at work on my two current WIPs.  Cemetery Tours 3 is a lot of fun.  It’s a little more complex and complicated than the first two, but it’s also very colorful and I think it’s going to be good.  It better be good, or I’ll have to keep rewriting it until it is!  My goal is to release BOTH books in 2015.  That will mean a lot more hard work, but it’s so completely worth it.

I hope y’all have a splendid Monday!

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